Coles Supermarkets: Total Quality Management

Topic: Management
Words: 2021 Pages: 7


Business organizations succeed when they transform their operations continuously, solve identified challenges, and support the provision of exemplary customer support. Leaders can embrace the power of numerous frameworks to promote long-term sustainability and performance. Total quality management (TQM) is a powerful tool that guides firms to improve managerial practices in such a way that they maximize customer satisfaction. Coles Supermarkets is one of the leading consumer services and retail chains in Australia. This company can introduce the TQM principles of total employee employment involvement, customer-focus, fact-based decision making, communications, and continuous improvement to transform its operations and deliver personalized support to its clients.

Total Quality Management Framework

Rationale and Benefits

TQM has become a practical framework due to its ability to guide companies and ensure that they develop a culture of continuous improvement. The rationale behind the adoption of TQM is that business organizations embracing the model find evidence-based approaches for transforming their operations while improving the experiences of the targeted customers. The implementation of the model becomes a powerful managerial approach for engaging stakeholders and transforming operations in any organization (Pulker et al., 2019). The use of data, strategy, and communication efforts makes it possible for leaders to implement the relevant attributes of TQM.

Business entities that record a number of gaps capable of disorienting the quality of services available to most of the targeted customers need to improve their operations. The move to introduce TQM is capable of delivering significant benefits to any given company if every step is taken into consideration. For instance, the model has the potential to trigger continuous improvement, thereby strengthening competitiveness in the targeted industry. The strategy will can help the company to identify and eliminate sources of wastes. Firms that take the issue of TQM seriously will be associated with a higher level of employee morale and innovation (Arup et al., 2017). The emerging gains will increase chances of success and eventually make the specific company more profitable.

Quality Management Principles, Tools, and Philosophies

Coles can benefit from a number of TQM aspects based on the existing gaps and opportunities. The involvement of all key stakeholders, the process of addressing recorded gaps, and the idea of constant monitoring have the potential to support the TQM initiative (Shaikh, 2022). During the process, the philosophy of continuous improvement remains critical since it allows the involved decision-makers to find emerging strategies and technologies. Members of the involved team can identify practical strategies to implement the TQM project.

The first principle to pursue is ensuring that all organizational activities at Coles are intended to add value to the customer. A client-focused strategy allows corporations to undertake activities in such a way that they foster quality (Al-Damen, 2017). The second one to dictate the TQM implementation project is that of employee involvement. This approach will allow these stakeholders to engage in initiatives that focus on the outlined goals. The third principle capable of improving the current performance at Coles is the concept of fact-based decision-making. Communication needs to be improved since it will become instrumental towards increasing the level of employee morale.

TQM Implementation Plan

The proposed model or approach for implementing TQM at Coles is the Goetsch and Davis (2021) 20-step total quality implementation process. This framework is best suited since it presents a practical methodology that guides business leaders to improve the products, processes, or services available to the targeted customers continuously. The professionals focusing on the model consider acceptable mechanisms to identify and eliminate all sources of wastes (Al-Damen, 2017). When pursued efficiently, the model will streamline operations, thereby making it easier for the company to offer high-quality products.

Past scholars have showed conclusively that organizations that embrace the use of the 20-step model by Goetsch and Davis (2021) will find it easier to manage quality and eventually meet the diverse needs of the targeted customers. The specific steps that Coles needs to introduce the relevant TQM principles are outlined below. The framework outlined in the section below follows the three basic steps for the successful implementation of TQM. These include preparation, planning, and execution (Arup et al., 2017). The consideration and analysis of each of these key phases is essential to support the delivery of positive results.

Companies can identify and follow unique steps to implement the identified principles of TQM. The recorded achievements and the identified gaps should guide organizational leaders to develop the best plan for implementing the needed improvements. To achieve positive outcomes, business professionals and decision-makers should focus on the best approaches to engage all followers and solve the recorded grievances (Ali, 2021). Coles is a chain store headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. The history of this business goes back to the year 1914 when George Coles started his first retail outlet (Shaikh, 2022). Presently, the organization has more than 100,000 employees who focus on the best approaches to meet the needs of the targeted customers (Shaikh, 2022). The acquisition of additional business entities has increased Coles’ market share to stand at 27 percent (Shaikh, 2022). Coles relies on powerful marketing, branding, and advertising strategies to inform and attract more customers.

Action Plan for Implementation

Preparation Phase

Commitment to Total Quality

To ensure that the intended success is recorded in any organizational strategy, top management commitment remains essential (Goetsch & Davis, 2021). This is no different when it comes to the implementation of a quality system characterized positive behaviors, commitment, and integrity. The involved professionals should embrace the best approaches, address the recorded challenges, and consider how performance can be improved (Pulker et al., 2019). This achievement makes it possible for a given company to become more competitive and capable of achieving the targeted goals.

Form a Steering Committee

During the first phase, the formed steering committee will study the gaps existing at the company and describe how they impact performance. The chair of such a team will be the company’s human resources (HR) director. Departmental and regional managers will be part of the committee to ensure that it delivers positive results within the stipulated period. These leaders will need to promote ownership and engagement (Pulker et al., 2019). Leaders of employee union will not be required to participate since the program is internal in nature. To minimize some of the predicaments that might emerge, the committee will need to consider the involvement of several employee representatives (Pulker et al., 2019). Suppliers of various materials and products will be expected to identify a number of representatives.

Team Building

To maximize the overall level of engagement, members of the team will be required to engage in discussions, games, and team building activities. They will interact, identify the best actions, and focus on the anticipated goals ((Afeliga, 2017). The organizational leader will engage in constant consultations to ensure that members of the team remain supportive throughout the process.

Total Quality Training for the Steering Committee

Members of staff will have to receive timely instructions and ideas if they are to make the process successful. The decision to outsource a professional agency is recommendable to ensure that beneficiaries acquire the necessary skills (Pulker et al., 2019). Such an organization will be keen to support its employees, consider the best approaches to engage all key stakeholders, and eventually support the sustainability of the project (Trimarjoko et al., 2020). The consultant will provide timely leadership and provide the required resources to ensure that the TQM process succeeds.

Creating Vision and Guiding Principle

The developed vision is to improve communication, deliver customer-focused products, and engage all employees. The outlining principle is ensuring that such a goal makes continuous improvement a reality at Coles. The end result is to make the company more competitive and profitable in the Australian retail market.

Set Broad Strategic Objectives

To first objective is to ensure that Coles becomes a leading provider of high-quality services and products to more customers within four years. The second one is to improve operations and communication procedures since they will support the anticipated TQM goals.

Communicate and Publicize Activities

To support the initiative, Coles’ public relations (PR) department will continuously update the organisation on quality matters.

Identify Organization’s SWOT

Key strengths at Coles include competent workers, a competitive business strategy, and availability of admirable products. The notable weakness is the inability to deliver such goods in a personalized manner. Key opportunities revolve around the power of technology and the ability to apply TQM principles (Salman, 2022). The main threat at the moment is that of increasing level of competition.

Advocacy and Resistance

The workers at Coles are expected to remain supportive throughout the period. Some individuals might be opposed to the presented change since it challenges the status quo (Mukolwe et al., 2017). To deliver positive outcomes, timely enlightenment and the process of addressing grievances with ensure that the TQM process is on track.

Baseline Employee and Customer Satisfaction Levels

The leaders will provide a detailed analysis of the responsiveness of the employees and willingness to support the process. The company will rely on past information to identify the best ways to improve the experiences of the existing customers.

Implementation Approach

The DMAIC model will support the implementation process for the TQM initiative. The involvement of key players and team members will make the process successful.

Identify Projects

For Coles, the involved professionals would need to identify specific projects that call for improved performance and continuous improvement (Delgadillo et al., 2022). Some of them will focus on product improvement, personalized services, and communication. This activity needs to be done since it will ensure that the company remains practical and analytical.

Team Composition

The steering committee will establish a new team whose mission is to make the introduced processes part of the organization. Such an initiative will support the creation of evidence-based strategies for promoting competitiveness and empowering key stakeholders continuously.

Team Education

Consultants and professionals will need to provide timely education to ensure that more workers are part of the process. The process of team education will ensure that the participants are willing to support and sustain the intended projects.

Team Activation and Direction

Team Feedback Loop with Steering Committee

The proposed model has the potential to support the process and make the project successful. The involved implementers will be required to report to the steering committee in a weekly basis. The committee will make timely observations, identify key gaps at Coles and focus on the best initiatives to improve organizational performance.

Customer Satisfaction Feedback Loop

The steering committee will liaise with different departments to learn more about the recorded level of customer satisfaction. The promoted feedback loop will support the analysis of the promoted activities and consider how the TQM plan can transform operations. Salman (2022) encourages leaders to collect adequate data from key different customer groups and make timely inferences.

Employee Satisfaction Loop

Just like with the customers, a detailed examination of the recorded experiences and willingness of the involved employees to be part of the process is necessary. During this stage, the steering committee will monitor the responses and issues different workers raise (Delgadillo et al., 2022). The emerging information will determine the best measures to make the process successful.

Modifications for Infrastructure and Operations

The steering committee will provide incentives for modifying operations, improving service delivery, and transforming the nature of organizational communication (Pulker et al., 2019). The involvement of key partners and employees will address emerging gaps and support superior infrastructure systems capable of delivering the outlined objectives and vision for Coles.


The above discussion has identified Coles as a leading chain of supermarkets in the Australian retail industry. The recorded gains are attributable to the power of efficient leadership and use of data analytics. However, some gaps exist at the company that might disorient its future performance. The use of Goetsch and Davis (2021) 20-step total quality implementation process to implement the outlined TQM principles can guide the organization’s leaders to address most of the identified gaps. Through the power of the DMAIC approach, such an initiative will introduce superior communication practices, deliver customer-focused products and services, and eventually make continuous improvement an integral part of its business strategy.


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